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Morning Power Bar: Supreme Court Ruling; Secret Wisconsin Basketball Tape

We look at this week in college basketball.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Wisconsin at North Carolina IndyStar-USA TODAY Sports

This is a weekly column for BTPowerhouse that will cover a variety of Big Ten topics that might not deserve a detailed breakdown, but deserve mention. It will be similar to a news roundup with more thoughts and analysis.

So, let’s jump into our Morning Power Bar.

1. The Supreme Court nukes the NCAA.

If you have been following the news over the last few days, then you’ve certainly heard about the Supreme Court’s ruling against the NCAA earlier this week in Alston v. NCAA, where it addressed whether the NCAA could restrict academic related benefits. The Court entered a noteworthy 9-0 decision against the NCAA with Justice Neil Gorsuch writing the majority opinion. Justice Brett Kavanaugh also authored a scathing opinion of the NCAA.

And while the Court’s decision was relatively narrowly tailored, the implications were not. The Court’s sentiment against the NCAA and its present model were clear, with the opinion reiterating that the NCAA was “not above the law” and lacked a basis for the challenged benefit restrictions. Kavanaugh also wrote the following in his concurring opinion:

“The NCAA and its member colleges maintain important traditions that have become part of the fabric of America ... but those traditions alone cannot justify the NCAA’s decision to build a massive money-raising enterprise on the backs of student athletes who are not fairly compensated . . . Nowhere else in America can businesses get away with agreeing not to pay their workers a fair market rate on the theory that their product is defined by not paying their workers a fair market rate. And under ordinary principles of antitrust law, it is not evident why college sports should be any different.

The Alston ruling won’t end the NCAA’s current model alone, but it doesn’t take an expert to figure out where this thing is headed. The NCAA’s model built off free (or close to free) labor is now living on borrowed time. It’s pretty evident the Supreme Court is going to destroy the model as soon as a broader case presents for review, which will probably be sooner rather than later. And overall, that’s a great thing for the sport and the athletes involved.

2. A secret recording of Wisconsin basketball surfaces.

In one of the more unusual stories of the week, a secret recording of a Wisconsin team meeting was recently sent to the press and it doesn’t exactly do any favors to Greg Gard and his handling of the team this season. The players express concern over their treatment and whether Gard has their best interests at heart, among other topics.

Of course, this comes after a disappointing 2020-’21 season where the Badgers underachieved and saw many of the program’s players depart in the offseason. Fans will hope this isn’t a sign of things to come.

3. NBA Draft Lottery revealed.

While the Big Ten doesn’t have an elite list of prospects entering the Draft this year, it does have a handful of players getting serious attention. And on Tuesday night, we got a clearer look at how things could unfold on Draft night, as the order was revealed:

We’ll have to wait and see how it sorts out, but Pistons fans have to be excited about how things shook out.

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